1000 Bruxelles

Being the historic heart of the city, it is not surprising that Grand Place, Brussels’ central square was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. It was built on what was marshland and the majority of the monuments in the square date back to the 17th century as nearly all of them were destroyed in 1695 when the square was bombarded by French troops. It was only the Town Hall (l’hôtel de ville) which survived the bombing and can still be seen standing in the square today. It is the history of the square which explains the heterogeneous architecture of Grand Place.

Built between 1402 and 1455, the town hall dominates the square with its 96m high tower. At the top is a statue of St Michael, the patron saint of the city, slaying a dragon or devil. There are guided visits of the building which will let you see the elaborate interior of the building. Opposite the town hall is the King’s House Museum, Maison du Roi, which dates back to the 15th century but was rebuilt in 1873. Today, it is a museum where you can learn about the history of Brussels.

There is activity in Grand Place both by day and night. Every morning there is a flower market and in the evening, the square is lit up and becomes a hive of activity with lots of tourists crowding the area for a bite and a couple of beers in one of the restaurants or bars.

Brussels Travel Guide | Monuments in Brussels

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